MALAYSIANS WEATHER THE STORM TO BEAT HONG KONG

In a rain-affected match where the local weather played the biggest role in the outcome of the game, Malaysia went on to secure a second win in the tournament against Hong Kong by seven wickets after the D/L method was put into use, twice. After two rain disrupted breaks, Malaysia were eventually given a target of 93 (when already at 20-0 after 5 overs) in 23 overs which they reached in the 21st over.

Hong Kong and Malaysia were deadlocked on points before the start of the game at Selangor Turf Club on Thursday, although Hong Kong were ahead, credit to their net run rate.

Following their example against Kuwait yesterday at the Bayuemas Oval, which led to Malaysia’s first win, the hosts won the toss and put Hong Kong in to bat. The visitors were at a disadvantage even before they stepped onto the field as it began to drizzle. A very nervy start had the ball skidding all over, but openers Shakeel Haq (9) and Nadeem Ahmed (33) were able to hold off the attack. Haq was handed a second life in the fifth over when he edged the ball to Aminnudin Ramly who fumbled a low catch at first slip. Two overs later, the batsman sent the ball straight into the hands of Suharril Fetri, who juggled for a bit but eventually grabbed it.

Following the wicket, Robert Bacon (10) played expertly handing strike to Ahmed who dispatched a number of deliveries over the boundary ropes. Ten overs into the game and it was still drizzling when Ahmed lost his wicket cheaply to Sarath Ananthasivam (2-32) getting caught at point by Mohammad Norwira. The wicket of Irfan Ahmed (1) soon followed along with the pitch covers when rain came down heavily in the 13th over with Hong Kong at 61-3.

Two hours later, post lunch, the teams took to the field under grey skies to play out the remaining overs, which were reduced to 39. Six overs past and Bacon and James Atkinson (1) were sent back to the pavilion, Bacon cursing himself after he scooped the ball to long-off. With Malaysia’s frailties in the field, came sporadic shows of brilliance as Hong Kong’s runs were soon clamped down on when medium-pacer Aminuddin Ramly (2-19) and spinners Mohammad Shahrulnizam (2-22) and Nik Azril (1-22) were bowling.

Kruger: A captain’s innings

Hong Kong Captain Courtney Kruger (44) may have gotten three of his team-mates run out but it was his innings that pulled the team to a somewhat decent total. The sides of the pitch were noticeably slippery from the downpour as batsmen constantly lost balance, this being the reason for most of the run outs and the surface even had a few batsmen scrambling on all fours trying to get back into the crease.

Kruger was unlucky to be bowled in the 37th over as the delivery from Shahrulnizam kept low as the team finished at 139. Due to the D/L method, the revised target for the Malaysians was 138.

Malaysia’s openers, Shafiq Sharif (19) and Faris Almas (38) were struggling against the pace of the bowlers and as rain intervened yet again at the end of the fifth over, Malaysia were 20-0, eight runs coming from extras.

Malaysia celebrate the winning runs

 

Faris Almas

A further 16 overs were lost after the second calculation of the D/L method as Malaysia were handed a target of 93 runs in 23 overs, the Malaysian weather playing a crucial role in the teams situation. Having said that, Faris Almas’ (38) performance, was an innings filled with flamboyancy. The 17 year-old batted more comfortably after the rain break and was largely helped by Hong Kong’s faults in the field.

Malaysia strolled to victory in the 21st over winning their second match of the tournament, placing them at the top of Group B. Faris Almas was awarded the Man of the Match.

Malaysia v Hong Kong at Selangor Turf Club
MALAYSIA WON BY 7 WICKETS (D/L METHOD)
Malaysia won the toss and chose to field
Hong Kong: 139 all out after 37.4 overs (N. Ahmed 33, C. Kruger 44)
Malaysia: 93 for 3 after 20.4 overs (F. Almas 38)
Man of the Match: Faris Almas (Malaysia)

Scorecard

Filed August 23 2007